The 13th edition of the cash-rich league and the most popular T20 league, IPL will take place in 2020 as all the franchises gear up for the first IPL of the new decade. IPL Auction 2020 had taken place last month where the think tanks of all the teams tried their best to form a solid squad.
With IPL 2020 being less than three months away and the fans are already excited to see their favourite franchises on the field. Given the history of the league, there are just a few teams who have performed consistently, and one such team would be SRH, having made it to the playoffs five times out of seven, winning the tournament once in 2016.
Ever since their historic victory in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), RR has been one of the perennial underachievers of the league. Under the leadership of Australian legend Shane Warne, Rajasthan Royals won the tournament in 2008. However, since that historic achievement, Rajasthan has never managed to perform consistently in the tournament.
The current title holders Mumbai Indians came out all guns blazing in the auctions as they managed to bag some exciting names to their kitty. However, the core of the Mumbai Indians remains the same which has been the case for several years. The team composition is one of the best for the Mumbai Indians with a perfect blend of youth and experienced campaigners.
The inclusion of Trent Boult and Nathan Coulter-Nile will strengthen their bowling department. However, given the variety of foreign players, MI has it will be highly unlikely that the two will play together. Hence one of them could be warming the benches for the majority of the tournament.
Looking at the squad composition of each side leading into IPL 2020 here’s looking at one overseas player from each team who won’t feature regularly:
1. Josh Phillipe: Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Josh Phillipe is a relatively unknown commodity but is coming up the ranks pretty quickly. The Western Australian wicket-keeper batsman has made a decent start to his career. He has been pretty impressive in the domestic 50-over competition in Australia.
However, it is his recent BBL exploits that brought him into the limelight. Playing for the Sydney Sixers, Phillipe struck a fine 81 in the first game before top-scoring with 24 in the second. Overall, he has a good T20 record. He averages 34.67 and strikes at 155.22.
However, he may not get a place in the starting XI. Parthiv Patel is going to be RCB’s first-choice wicket-keeping option and Phillipe will be the backup. Moreover, RCB have quite a few overseas options to choose from and hence, Phillipe may not get a place in the XI.
2. Josh Hazelwood: Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Aussie pace bowling star Josh Hazelwood is the latest addition to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) squad. The 29-year-old Aussie fast bowler is currently playing for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League and is eyeing a return into the Australian squad for the limited-overs format for the one-day series against India that commences in the 3rd week of January.
The fast bowler was picked up at his base price of INR 2 crores in the recently concluded IPL auctions. This would be the debut IPL season for the Australian since he opted out of the 2015 season due to national commitments after being bought by the Mumbai Indians.
CSK team is a pool of talented young Indian pace bowlers and well-established overseas stars. Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur will lead the bowling attack, the likes of Lungi Ngidi and DJ Bravo will be the overseas pros in the bowling attack. Also, the likes of Sam Curran will fill up the bowling all-rounder quota and this would mean that there is no spot for Josh Hazlewood in the initial playing XI.
There however is always a chance of getting a game due to injuries, pitch conditions and strategies that the Chennai Super Kings may have to deal with and hence, both can easily get into the scheme of things at any point in time during the season.
3. Nathan Coulter-Nile: Mumbai Indians (MI)
The Aussie all-rounder Nathan Coulter-Nile was bought by Mumbai Indians for a whopping sum of 8 crores. It has to be seen if MI spent too much money on acquiring this overseas player. As he has proven to be injury-prone in earlier seasons of the IPL and it will be taking a gamble by picking him in the playing XI for MI whose core looks extremely solid.
Nathan Coulter-Nile has been a part of IPL since 2013 and has played for several franchises along the way. In 26 matches in the T20 extravaganza, the Aussie seamer has managed to pick 36 wickets at an economy rate of 7.66. He can click mid 140s consistently and possesses the skills to bowl at the death.
Mumbai Indians grabbed him at the IPL 2020 auction but the presence of Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Maling and Trent Boult might keep him away from the XI for the entire season, or most of it.
4. Jimmy Neesham: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP)
Jimmy Neesham’s career has been marred with injuries and inconsistent form. However, the year 2019 was extremely productive for the Kiwi all-rounder. Neesham was instrumental in New Zealand’s journey to the finals of the World Cup.
Neesham contributed heavily both with the bat & ball and was one of the top performers of the tournament. It became impossible for IPL franchises to overlook his World Cup performance as he was bought by Kings XI Punjab at his base price of INR 50 lakh.
Having said that, Neesham hasn’t set the stage on fire in the IPL so far. He last played in the IPL in 2014 when he represented Delhi Daredevils. The Kiwi played just 4 games in which he scored only 22 runs and took a single wicket. More importantly, the Kings have a strong overseas contingent and with the likes of Glenn Maxwell in the mix, there might not be room for another overseas all-rounder in the playing XI.
5. Fabian Allen: Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
SRH have one of the most sorted spin departments for the 2020 IPL. They have the likes of Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi and Shahbaz Nadeem, who can take on any batsman. Rashid has been the find of IPL in recent times and has single-handedly turned games for the team. Not only has he been effective with the ball, but he is also known for his cameos down the order at an imperious strike rate.
This means that he is expected to play most games. The other two aforementioned spinners are equally potential if they are given a chance. But as weird as it seems, SRH went for Fabian Allen in the IPL 2020 auctions.
The West Indian all-rounder is a left-arm spinner and is an exciting talent who is expected to make it big in the international arena. But with already three top-class spin bowlers and a restriction on a number of foreign players in the playing eleven, it remains to be seen where Allen fits in.
6. David Miller: Rajasthan Royals (RR)
‘Killer Miller’ announced his arrival in IPL cricket during his stint with the Kings XI Punjab. Back in 2013, prolific South African batsman David Miller played one of the finest IPL knocks when the southpaw plundered an unbeaten 101 of just 38 deliveries against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and helped KXIP register an exceptional come from behind victory.
Through the course of his stint with Punjab, Miller established himself as an integral part of the unit. However, he has been nowhere close to his best in the recent past which led to his ouster from the KXIP outfit. He was bought for a mere Rs 75 lakhs and could come into the equation for the Royals only when there is an injury concern.
Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, and Ben Stokes are expected to feature in the playing XI which would restrict Miller’s participation.
7. Jason Roy: Delhi Capitals
The English free-flowing opening batsman marked his arrival, playing for Gujarat Lions, in the 2017 edition of IPL. Later next year, he gained the spotlight with a match-winning 91 for the Delhi-based franchise while he missed the 2019 edition due to personal reasons.
Ahead of the 2020 edition, Delhi Capitals (DC) got hold of Jason Roy once again but a well-settled opening pair might keep him on the bench as Shikhar Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw have been impressive for DC and the addition of a classy Indian batsman and former RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane, to the mix, would mean slim chances for Roy to be a part of the XI unless someone sacrifices their opening slot or is punted down the order.
The explosive top-order batsman will be looking forward to continuing his stellar World Cup 2019 form if he gets the opportunity to showcase his potential in IPL 2020.
8. Tom Banton: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
At the age of 20, Tom Banton is one of the most dashing young openers in domestic circles in England, especially in T20s. He had a great campaign for Somerset in the 2019 T20 Blast. There, he finished as the second-highest run-scorer with 549 runs at a decent average and strike-rate of 42.23 and 161.47 respectively.
His pairing with Babar Azam at the top was a nightmare for many teams. The Chiltern-born also got a century versus Kent. On the backs of his impressive knocks, he was drafted into the national squad for the away T20I series against the Kiwis.
As far as KKR is concerned, Tom Banton should be an automatic selection considering his wide range of shots and explosive batting style. He has been in ravishing form for Brisbane Heat in the ongoing KFC Big Bash League. But the youngster hasn’t played in Indian conditions and his ability to play spin on Indian conditions will be tested.
Considering most of the pitches that would be on offer in IPL 2020, Banton may not regularly feature for KKR unless he finds his game against top-quality spin on spin-friendly pitches.
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